Devastating! Another icon gone too soon.
June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016
Just yesterday, I’d been reassured about Prince’s health after reading that he’d appeared before fans on Saturday to show them that he was okay after being hospitalized for the flu. I was checking up on him because of a blind gossip item that seemed to be about him, claiming he was at death’s door. I thought, “This garbage is always wrong. Let me prove it’s wrong.” I was happy to take the fact that he was up and about as a good sign, but perhaps I should have taken this statement that he made at face value: “Wait a few days before you waste any prayers.”
It was hard enough that Prince’s protege Vanity died in February; like Prince, she was only 57 years old. I felt like I lost an important part of my past with her! Now, for Prince himself to die … well, it consoles me a little to imagine Vanity quickly painting the pearly gates purple, so that Prince can dance through in style.
“Let’s Go Crazy” from the movie Purple Rain has always been one of my favorite Prince songs. (My all-time favorite is the B-side of “Let’s Go Crazy”: “Erotic City.”) I vividly remember listening to it during a dance in my high school gym. The lyrics were always intense for a party song, and they feel much more intense today:
“We’re all excited/
But we don’t know why/
Maybe it’s cause/
We’re all gonna die
And when we do (When we do)/
What’s it all for (What’s it all for)/
You better live now/
Before the grim reaper come knocking on your door.”
I’m pretty confident that Prince really lived, literally right up until the end. The man gave his last concert exactly one week ago.
UPDATED TO ADD: Prince had fashion sense like no other. Check out the 45 photos Billboard has put together.
UPDATED AGAIN TO ADD: Here are some interesting links.
Vintage Prince interviews/cover stories:
- Esquire Gentleman’s 1995 cover story on the Artist Formerly Known as Prince, during his fight with Warner Bros.
- People’s 1984 cover story on Prince.
- Rolling Stone’s 1985 cover story on Prince.
- In this 1991 interview, Prince said the last time he cried was when his dad threw him out of the house.
- Prince’s 1999 CNN interview.
- The New Yorker had soup with Prince. The last paragraph is a must-read.
- Paper Magazine’s 1999 cover story.
Performances and reviews of performances.
- Prince at the SNL40 after-party.
- A full concert from 1982.
- The 1991 MTV Video Music Awards performance starring Prince and his assless pants.
- The New York Times review of Prince’s 2007 Super Bowl halftime show.
- The New York Times first reviewed a Prince show when the singer was just 19, and greatness was still to come..
Prince’s fashion and appearance:
- The man who made Prince’s high heels.
- Best passport photo of all time.
- Vogue’s tribute to Prince, the fashion icon.
- Nineteen outfits only Prince could pull off.
The women in Prince’s life:
- Prince and his ex-girlfriend, Vanity.
- Vanity remembered by Apollonia, after the former’s death in February 2016.
- Another Prince protege: drummer Sheila E.
- Ex-wife Mayte Garcia makes a statement about Prince’s death. Their son, Boy Gregory, died seven days after his birth in 1996 due to Pfeiffer’s Syndrome.
Prince and business:
- Prince’s long history of giving the middle finger to record companies.
- “My music wants to do what it wants to do, and I just want to get out of its way,” Prince told Forbes.
Prince and Minneapolis:
- Eben Shapiro, who used to work for MrB at the Wall Street Journal, had Prince in his 7th-grade class.
- “How Prince Helped Me Define My Black Masculinity …”
- “Good night, sweet Prince,” by Andrea Swensson.
- “There Are Thieves in the Temple Tonight.”
- Why Prince was a hero to strippers.
- Tour manager Alan Leeds and his wife Gwen reminisce about working for Prince.
- Robin Thede’s Prince story in gifs.
- The late Erica Kennedy, author of Bling, chatted with Prince on AOL in 1999.
- Fan Robin Lee pays tribute on Facebook.
- Lisa Robinson remembers Prince’s special request for a Vanity Fair cover shoot (he wanted the other musicians to appear in chains).
- The Broadway cast of The Color Purple pays tribute to Prince.
- The cast of Hamilton pays tribute to Prince.
- Mike Tyson pays tribute to “Printhe.”
- Naomi Campbell and other fashion people remember.
Details of death:
- When I quoted the “Let’s Go Crazy” lyrics above, it was before I knew that Prince had been found in an elevator. Eerily, another lyric from that song is, “And if the elevator tries to bring you down/Go crazy, punch a higher floor.”
- Autopsy has been completed.
- Prince has been cremated.
- How MTV handled Prince’s death.
Prince and religion
Why we grieve for artists and why that’s okay:
- Vulture has a list of 24 fabulous Prince anecdotes.
- Rolling Stone picked out some highlights from the book Let’s Go Crazy, about the making of Purple Rain.
- Eight things to know about Prince, from Van Jones, including information about his philanthropy.
- Fifteen Prince songs that were hits for other artists.
- Prince memes were so great that even Prince shared them.
- The Simpsons never got to make its Prince episode.
- An interview with the guy behind the highlarious Twitter account @PrinceTweets2U.
- “Game: Blouses.” David Chappelle’s Prince sketch, based on a true story confirmed by Prince himself.
- Epic side-eye gifs plus a lollipop video.
- Jimmy Fallon’s ping pong story.
- Of course, I treasure a Family Guy cutaway featuring Prince on The Price Is Right.
Finally, in a class by itself, Prince’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” guitar solo from the 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tribute to George Harrison. (Someone tell Steve Miller that SOMETHING good came out of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!) Prince himself was inducted into the Hall of Fame the same year.